First of all, I am thrilled to be guest blogging on Design Sponge this week. I have long made Design Sponge a daily stop and love the ideas and inspiration I find here. For my posts this week, I thought it would be fun to do a little holiday prep through projects, inspiration, and gift guides, so check back in each day for some really fun holiday inspiration.
Today’s DIY project is my new favorite. I have always loved really tactile, cozy type ornaments on our tree, made with wool, yarn, things like that. Clothes for your tree, that’s what these ornaments are. Truly easy to stitch up. No kidding! Each one will take about 30 minutes start to finish (with all your supplies out and at the ready). Why not gather supplies, invite some crafty (or even semi-crafty) friends over, and have an ornament making party? This project is the perfect kind of “talk and sew” project, and impromptu, casual gatherings are the ones I love the best during the holiday season. You can spend some time with friends, and come away with something memorable and adorable. Consider assigning each person a certain supply item and pool your resources. (You could, of course, make these on your own as well. But with friends, music, and egg nog, who knows what you will come up with!?)
CLICK HERE for blair’s full project how-to after the jump!
-Wool felt (you’ll be keeping these ornaments forever, so I suggest using
the good stuff, although acrylic blend craft felt would work just fine. You
can buy great wool felt in beautiful colors here and here and many other places.) I buy approx. 8″ x 11″ pieces, and if you lay the template *just right* you could get 3 tops out of one piece.
-Sparkly, sew-on bead crystals or beads- I bought mine at Fusion
Beads. They are sold by the single bead, so you can buy just what you think you’ll need. 3mm and 4mm are perfect sizes for these ornaments.
-Tiny, 2mm crystallized Swarovski Elements crystal round
bead Paper Valaise *or* craft wire you can bend into a hanger shape (available at any craft store). When folding it into shape, make the longest part at the bottom 2″ across. *You could also hang these from baker’s twine, yarn, or string.
-Small amount of lace *or* a 6″ by 3″ piece of quilting weight cotton fabric in a pretty print
-matching thread and hand sewing needle (make sure this will fit through the
hole of your smallest bead)
-Template for top (download here)
-pencil or disappearing ink fabric marker
-fabric glue (you could also use craft glue, or hot glue)
1. Print out template for the top, and cut out. Using either a light pencil
mark, or a disappearing ink marker, trace the template onto your wool felt.
Cut out. Fold in half, matching the bottom edges of the top, folding the
arms in half lengthwise.
2. Using your hand-sewing needle and matching thread, doubled thread,
whip-stitch the lengthwise edges of the arms, all the way down the sideseams
of the top. Its totally okay for these stitches to show (in fact I like it
when they do).
3. You should now have a sewn together top, ready to bead. But before you
begin beading, decide if you want a crewneck shape, or a V-neck shape (or
something different). Cut that opening into the neck area before you start
beading. In my example, I decided to make a cardigan,
so I cut straight down the front.
4. Using one strand of thread and a needle that will fit through the beads,
begin beading (it helps to make a faint mark where you will put the beads
first. Sew up through the hole in the larger bead, the sew through a seed
bead, then go back through the hole of the large bead and through to the
back of the fabric (the seed bead holds the larger bead on). Pull threads
gently though. Continue doing this as you add your beaded pattern to the
5. When your beading is completed, add your hanger by gently pushing it up
through the bottom of the sweater and into the neck.
6. You’re now ready to add your bottom trim. If you are adding printed
fabric to make a flouncy skirt, make a hand sewn running stitch across one
lengthwise side of the fabric, 1/2″ from the edge, do not knot the edge. (In the photo, I am using a contrast thread so you can see
it, but use matching thread for yours.) Form a half knot with the thread
ends, and pull the the thread to gather up the fabric – what will become the
top of the skirt. Knot the ends of the thread when you have it gathered to
7. Using your fabric glue, add a thread of glue around the gathered edge of
the skirt, then gently slip it up into the bottom of the sweater, making
sure you hide those gathering stitches. No need to worry about the raw edges
of the fabric, but if you want you could cut the bottom edge of the skirt
with pinking shears, or even hem the edge, but I like the look of it simply
left as it is.